SOLNA, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Aerocrine AB (OMX Nordic Exchange: AERO)(AERO-B.ST) announces that Health Care Service Corporation will begin covering FeNO testing for asthma diagnosis and management effective April 1, 2014.
Aerocrine has received notification that Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) will implement a positive coverage policy for Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing for the diagnosis and management of asthma effective April 1, 2014. HCSC, the 5th largest private payer in the US, provides insurance coverage for 14 million individuals. HCSC subsidiaries include Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The new HCSC policy is a positive coverage policy that states FeNO testing may be considered medically necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. This change in policy now allows reimbursement of claims based on medical necessity. In the last three years, several of the large Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans have altered their policies to begin paying for Aerocrine’s test. These include: WellPoint/Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield. Aerocrine’s test is now reimbursed by the three largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in the United States, plans that account for over 40 million covered lives. In all, 64% of US insured lives now have access to Aerocrine’s test nationwide.
HCSC, spent many months reviewing the latest information available and thoroughly challenged the clinical utility and outcomes information. This is a very positive change that we hope will encourage other payers to review their FeNO coverage policies and provide coverage,” said Scott Myers, CEO, Aerocrine AB “We believe this change at HCSC will demonstrate to physicians that insurers support FeNO testing to improve clinical decision making, patient and health economic outcomes for asthma management.”
Insurance companies typically review their medical policies on an annual basis or whenever substantially new clinical information becomes available. Currently, seven of the US’s top 12 insurers provide coverage and reimbursement for this test. During the first quarter; CIGNA and Highmark, the fourth and eighth largest insurers respectively have maintained a non-coverage policy.
FeNO testing is a two minute, objective, point-of-care breath test that can be used to identify patients with allergic airway inflammation. Airway inflammation is widely recognized as the underlying cause of asthma. Using routine FeNO testing to guide therapy, particularly inhaled corticosteroid therapy, for asthma patients has been shown to reduce asthma exacerbations up to 50 percent.
“FeNO is an important addition to the management of many patients with asthma. It allows the presence of steroid responsive airway inflammation to be identified. FeNO testing helps clinicians prescribe the optimal medications and doses for their asthma patients which can improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Neal Jain, MD, FAAAAI, FAAP.
Aerocrine’s NIOX MINO® is the only FeNO device that is cleared by the FDA and commercially available in the United States. NIOX MINO is a simple device that delivers a numerical FeNO score during routine patient visit.
Asthma is one of this world’s most common and costly diseases, affecting 8-10% of the population and costing more than $50B annually in the US alone. The disease has no cure and proper diagnosis and management of the disease are important to obtaining optimal control of a patient’s asthma.
For more information regarding the change in the HCSC policy see the following link:
(Click on Pending Policies to the Left)
Aerocrine AB is a medical technology company focused on the improved management and care of patients with inflammatory airway diseases. As the pioneer and leader in technology to monitor and manage airway inflammation, Aerocrine markets NIOX MINO® and NIOX VERO® (EU) Both products enable fast and reliable management of airway inflammation and may therefore play a critical role in more effective diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma. Aerocrine is based in Sweden with subsidiaries in the U.S., Germany and the U.K. Aerocrine shares were listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2007.
Aerocrine may be required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication on 03/19/2014 at 4.45 p.m.
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- Health Care Industry
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Scott Myers, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +46 768 788 379, +970 368 0336
Dr. Kathy Rickard, Chief Medical Officer
+919 749 6708
Ken Marshall, Chief Marketing Officer and President
+919 280 9687